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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES VASCULAR SECTION
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2002 Aprile;43(2):217-21
Lymphoceles complicating arterial reconstructions of the lower limbs: outpatient conservative management
Porcellini M., Iandoli R., Spinetti F., Bracale U., Di Lella D.
From the Department of Vascular Surgery, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
Background. Treatment of lymphoceles complicating vascular procedures is controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practicability, effectiveness and safety of conservative management on an outpatient basis.
Methods. Medical records were reviewed for 23 postoperative lymphoceles (in 18 patients) seen at our institution between 1986 and 1999. Diagnosis was made by physical examination and needle aspiration of fluid collection; bacterial cultures were obtained in all. Ultrasonography was performed in all patients, lymphoscintigraphy (99mTc HSA) in 11, angio-TC in 2 cases, MRI in 3 large lymphoceles.
Results. Twenty-one lymphoceles developed in the groin, 2 in the thigh and were mostly (72.2%) diagnosed after hospital discharge. Imaging techniques detected subcutaneous wound collection; in addition, lymphoscintigraphy showed lymphatic interruption and collateral pathways in patients with limb swelling. Outpatient management consisted of limited ambulation, limb elevation and pressure dressings; no serial aspirations were made. Resolution was obtained in all patients over a mean period of 21 days (range, 12 to 35). No patient required re-hospitalization or developed wound and/or graft infection. No recurrence was noted after a follow-up of all patients for 1 year.
Conclusions. Outpatient treatment of lymphoceles following arterial reconstructive procedures can be performed safely. Significant advantages of this pathway include no re-hospitalization and cost reduction.